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US PET imports from S Korea, Turkey surged in 2017; overall down 1%

HOUSTON, February 13, 2018 (PCW) -- US PET resin imports from South Korea and Turkey rose sharply in 2017 while overall imports fell 1%, the latest US Commerce Department data show.

Imports from South Korea totaled 54,859 metric tons in 2017, up by 28,054 mt or 105% from 2016. Imports from South Korea, Brazil, Pakistan, Taiwan and Indonesia will be subject to anti-dumping duties next month and have slowed considerably this year.

Imports from Turkey in 2017 totaled 5,098 mt -- 4,392 mt in Dec 2017 alone -- up from 784 mt in 2016. A large quantity of the Dec 2017 imports from Turkey was booked by US PET producer Indorama Ventures, according to market sources. The company has not responded to requests for comment.

The top source of imports in 2017 was Mexico at 231,044 mt, down by 16,055 mt or 6.5% from 2016. One reason for the drop was a production stoppage at the Altamira PET facility in Mexico in Oct following a bankruptcy filing by owner M&G Polymers.

Overall, 2017 PET imports totaled 674,000 mt, down by 8,566 mt or 1% from 2016. -- Xavier A Cronin

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